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Obligatory Ranking Post (the very belated and lengthy sequel)

04/08/2011 2 comments

I gotta say, I love posts that inspire discussion and all – I really do, even if I’m not a very talkative person myself – but let’s take a different track this time. Sorry to say, not every post can be as awesome and provoking and thought inspiring. Or maybe just plain provocative.

At long last, I finally offer you another ranking post.

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State of the Fangirl #01: Boyband Releases

01/16/2011 1 comment

I know, I know, the first three new posts on this blog all about boybands? Hey, my blog. My rules.

1) Huzzah! It has happened! Arashi has finally released a single that is not boring again! Or, will, rather. The preview for Lotus, their next single and the theme song to Aiba’s upcoming drama Bartender, is making its way around the interwebs. As you can see and hear, it’s not as bland as the stuff they’ve been putting out in the latter half of 2010. In fact, the PV style and dance seems to harken back to 2008’s truth and 2009’s Believe, both of which were songs that both showcased Arashi’s maturing image. (They can’t be happy rainbows forever.) The song also reminds of truth‘s dramatic melancholy – I don’t like it quite as much as I loved truth when I first heard it, but I definitely like it better than Love Rainbow, Dear Snow, and Hatenai Sora. I think most importantly, though, as various Arashi fans may say – they’re dancing again!

2) This is not news. The Pi-loving fandom (Yamashita Tomohisa, that is. Not 3.14159265…) has been ecstatic about his upcoming solo single, Hadakanbo, for weeks now. I figured since I was going to do this post anyways I should at least watch the titular music video. In growing up, Pi’s gone from an adorable teenager to “dead fish eyes,” and one can’t help but get the feeling that his idea of the “cool & sexy” image is blatant apathy. (Either that, or he’s a very bad actor when showing how much he cares.) It doesn’t change in this video. Like I grew to love Kuroki Meisa’s criminal because of her bedroom eyes in the PV, I think I could’ve grown to like this song. Now all I’ll see is Pi in his NAKED lights with his geisha-haired backup dancers and think of what could’ve been. Hopefully his upcoming album (Supergood, Superbad), is better.

3) w-inds.‘ upcoming single, –Be As One-/Let’s get it on, is the second since their amazing album ANOTHER WORLD. -Be As One- is the one that’s got a tie-in (the 6th ending to FAIRY TAIL… wait, didn’t I have problems with being addicted to FAIRY TAIL music?), so Let’s get it on is the one that gets a PV. Just so things are fair or something. The former is a pop ballad in w-inds. style, sweet and melodic. (The ending sequence that goes with it is pretty nice, too, focusing on ice-wielding character Gray.) But if -Be As One- is tame, then Let’s get it on is as dangerous as the title threatens. Abundant use of English in the very sexy lyrics, vocoded vocals, an attempt at a sexier image in the PV (Ryohei ends up looking kind of shady and Keita’s a bit of a joke at parts, but Ryuichi completely succeeds at being a sex god) are all things that could possibly put off listeners, even those who love their recent electronic style. Even if Ryohei and Ryuichi finally have a bigger role in the song again. But! If you like bare female midriffs this is the music video for you.

4) The Tohorangers (TVXQ!/THSK/DBSK) are now down to two. Well, you probably should’ve figured that out after The Girl, Ultra Mushroom, and Kamen Laser (Jaejoong/Yoochun/Junsu, aka JYJ) went off on a non-profit tromp through the US and released a horrifically ridiculous Stateside debut video, but just in case you were living under a rock. (I don’t blame you.) Bondage Ranger and Gi (Yunho and Changmin) squared up their shoulders, wiped away the tears, and said they’d keep the Tohoranger name going. Why? (Keep Your Head Down) is the first fruit of their efforts, and it needs to be said – if nothing else, SM Entertainment knows how to make a music video. The song is also fierce, Yunho’s effeminate rapping is in full force, and while there’s some questionable outfit and hairstyle choices, it’s so much better than, well, JYJ’s reentry. HoMin may have kept their heads down from the Toho mess this past year, but clearly they can come back heads held high.

5) Everything but the music video for KAT-TUN‘s upcoming single Ultimate Wheels has been released – but you can catch a snatch of the song in their commercials for the Suzuki SOLIO. I had a really really bad joke to make regarding the title, but… I think the commercial I’ve linked is hilarious enough, especially with this particular song. Who knew selling cars could be done in such a dramatically shounen manga way?

6) Speaking of KAT-TUN… Akanishi Jin‘s first solo release after leaving KAT-TUN and signing up with Warner Music Record Japan is set to come out in early March, under the name of Eternal. He’s also going to put out a US album in the summer, for which I’m shamefully excited because I (contrary to my dislike of him) did enjoy A PAGE, even if it means he won’t really sing songs like care again. But back to Eternal. There are also so many unclassy jokes to make about that name, whether you love him or hate him or just want to refer to his eggplant. I’m not that bad. You come up with the jokes yourself.

Alright, that’s January, February, and early March in one swoop. What are you excited for? Displeased that I’ve left out Tegomass/Choshinsei/your boyband of choice? Something I absolutely need to listen to? Point me in the right direction.

Johnny’s Countdown 2010-2011 Picspam!

I’m not very much for being a media blog. But I made a lot of caps of the Countdown (a total of 274, pared down from 2000) and frankly Koichi’s beauty must be shared with the world, so have the pics that didn’t make it into the Countdown post!

Fair warning: If one were inclined to count, you’d notice I have 127 pictures in the actual Countdown post. That means 147 random pictures, all 500×281 pixels, now follow. If you are on dialup or a slow connection, I’m sorry if you decide to click the jump and basically screw yourself in the butt.

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A Classy New Year in 5…

It is a New Year’s tradition by now.

Every year since 2007-into-2008, I spend New Year’s with people both in and not in my immediate family. If I’m lucky, like this past year, I will even avoid spending it with my immediate family entirely and instead do something with my friends. If I’m unlucky, like this past year, I will also shell out money for snacks that mean little in the face of drunken gaming festivities, but c’est la vie.

Also every year since 2007-into-2008, I will download the Johnny’s Countdown without fail at some point in the following week and proceed to officially kick off my New Year with Japanese men in make-up and fashion failures. Then if I’m lucky, I make a post on it for the blog. If I’m unlucky, like in 2010, I will also work on said post for months on end, and in the end fail to update the blog altogether for the entirety for the year.

Let’s see what kind of year this one will be, shall we?

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The Pretty, the Ugly, and the all so Shiny in 5…

It’s a new year already! Oh, wow, it’s a new year already.

2008 was filled with lots and lots of Johnny’s loving (even the half of the year I disappeared for), so what better way to kick off 2009? Oh, and Arashi was hosting this year’s Countdown too. I know you probably aren’t here to read this opening blurb (if the comments from my post on last year’s Countdown are any indication), so let’s get straight to it.

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The Pretty Boy in his natural habitat.

02/16/2008 8 comments

Today… well, today I says to myself, “Kimi, what is it about media blogs?” I hate them and yet I admire them. I don’t mean the download-sharing kind, of course, but the ones that get by solely on posting pictures and YouTube/Dailymotion/Veoh/imeem/what have you links.

I hate that all their content is mostly based off what they’ve probably leeched from the Internet. (But if it comes from their own wallet, all the more power to them.) I hate that there is little actual thought behind the decision other than “I like this, people might like this, so here you go”. Insert smiley or one-liner on the media in question, press “Publish/Post”, watch the comment and hit counts fly.

Perhaps a great deal of it is because while I value a pretty face and watching choreography, a good deal of my music fandoms are not visually based. I’ve never found much merit in photobooks, partially stemming from some disappointment with my collection of artbooks that sit gathering dust on my bookshelf and the fact that I’d rather have them sit pretty than do anything to them. Trading cards, too, are considered more as a collectible item (going back to my days in high school where I amassed over 300 booster packs of Japanese Yu+Gi+Oh! cards for the sole purpose of having the collection). And while I like looking at pictures, I am not the person with several gigs in pictures of their favorite artist(s).

No, my music fandoms develop because of that same music, and rarely go further. I’m perfectly content to listen to people like Younha or Gackt or even, say, AAA without wondering what sort of person they are, or being obsessive about how they look. (Sure, Shuuta being hot helps. Urata’s body helps even more. But I got into them because I liked their music and I liked their dancing. Not how they looked. Thankfully, because they looked pretty bland early on.) Only recently has this changed, as my purchases of Japanese magazines increase, but I’m still fairly selective about the magazines I buy, preferring to preview the photoshoot before deciding on any actual purchase. (But we chalk this up to how expensive buying said magazines in this country is. My poor wallet.)

And I suppose to some extent, the download blog earns my ire as well. I’m grateful, sure, because they widen the ways to get your Japanese media. But when I know that they get over hundreds of hits solely for the downloads, it kind of hurts. Especially because this little blog, no matter how much I pour into it, barely averages about 100 hits overall a day, but half of them for nonsensical google searches or what lyrics I’ve color-coded for my amusement. I say this with a sad confidence, you know – let it beat! was a download blog too and it averaged 100 hits for whatever my latest post was… until the next one came along.

But I feel justified – even the teeniest bit – in knowing that I fleshed out those same downloads with hopefully interesting text. Whether or not people read it was up to them, but at least I wasn’t completely relying on the allure of Koda Kumi’s pumping hips, Domoto Koichi’s angsty face, or AAA’s way-too-many releases to draw people in. I had my own opinions and ideas to share, at least.

For that same reason, I admire them. I admire the gall those same media blogs have in doing that. And of course, their success. Because not only do I think I could ever do that, just post a picture or a video link, but my head might possibly explode if you ever put me in front of a keyboard and blogging program and told me I wasn’t allowed to type under pain of everyone in the world collectively crying “Bullshit!” and stoning me to death. Actually, I’m a bit surprised it hasn’t happened yet – the latter part, that is.

…it might be hard to tell, but this post wasn’t supposed to be a criticism of media blogs. Oops.

No, this post, with great pains, sends me temporarily joining the legions of media-sharing blogs once more. With your weekly dose of fangirl rambling, of course.

Categories: Arashi, Johnny's, Picspam, Rambling Tags: ,

Kimi will self-destruct in 4…

01/12/2008 11 comments

…this took way too long. Now I remember why I never tried to make a post on Kouhaku last year.

In light of the New Year, and the sudden turn my listening habits took for the few months prior to the New Year, I decided to switch up my Year-End programming and do what would’ve been unthinkable just a year ago.

Rather than Kouhaku Utagassen, I went for the Johnny’s Countdown.

This really isn’t a big deal, not like being a diehard Ayu fan but ignoring her own Countdown in favor of watching… I dunno, an Amuro Namie concert on DVD. But though I have a general knowledge of the pretty boy jimusho, the only Johnny’s groups whose songs I know are KinKi Kids, Arashi, and NEWS – and Arashi’s only up to their One album (from Happiness going backwards in their discography, of course) while KinKi is more of a “barely know”.

And so I can only blame my watching this on the fact that Arashi was hosting this year (the 10th anniversary, apparently). Readers take note – when I find a new obsession, I fall into it deeply (this is amusing in contrast to my normal lack of attention towards everything else). Please refrain from recommending things to me unless you’re a bitch like Raid (and will put up with my griping for months on end) or willing to take responsibility for my sudden lack of a life.

In the meanwhile, thanks to the countdown, Johnny’s has pretty much completely won me over. Raid’s never going to be forgiven for this.